Smith’s accused killer was retaliating for hit-and-run
It may have been no accident when the Hummer H3 driven by Cardell Hayes plowed into the Mercedes SUV of former Pro Bowl defensive end Will Smith at a New Orleans intersection. Hayes’ attorney, Jay Daniels, suggested his client was retaliating for a hit-and-run by Smith. Indeed, FOX 8 News in New Orleans showed video of what appears to be Smith’s SUV bumping into the back of the Hayes Hummer. That was just blocks from where Smith died of bullets from a .45-caliber handgun allegedly fired by Hayes after a brief confrontation between the two men. Prior to his conflict with the popular New Orleans Saints defensive end, Hayes had a confrontation with another former NFL player, Raion Hill, when both were working on the set of the 2014 movie, 22 Jump Street. Hayes, who’s charged with second-degree murder, is 6-6, 300 pounds, and an intimidating presence. During filming on the Louisiana location, Hill told USA Todaythat Hayes bragged of the toughness he acquired growing up in “the Melpomene Projects” outside New Orleans. Hill, who is 6-1, was impressed enough to start carrying a shank – a homemade knife – to the movie set. Now it looks like Hill and Hayes could be players in a new film of sorts. This is a tragedy with legs.
Just Wondering: Why would Hayes’ lawyer want to establish a motive for his client to commit premeditated murder. Does he prefer second-degree to first?
Payton denounces gun ‘madness’ after killing of ex-Saint
Rarely do NFL coaches express opinions on political issues. But the New Orleans Saints’ Sean Payton spoke in favor of gun control after one of his former players, Will Smith, was shot to death, allegedly by a man carrying a .45-caliber handgun in his car. This happened in Louisiana, where a lifetime permit to carry is not difficult for most adults to obtain. “If this opinion in Louisiana is unpopular, so be it,” Payton told USA Today. “Two hundred years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about? The idea that we need them to fend off intruders . . . That’s some silly stuff we’re hanging onto.” Payton recently hired Smith 34, to join the Saints’ coaching staff. He was killed just a few blocks from Payton’s home in the Garden District. Payton said he’s “not an extreme liberal” and leans “to the right on many issues.” But he developed an anti-gun attitude growing up in Chicago and hearing his father, an insurance-claims adjuster, tell of investigating numerous tragic incidents involving guns.
Manziel living with Gordon, who fails yet another drug test
Johnny Manziel, the wayward quarterback, recently told TMZ he was living with Von Miller, the Super Bowl MVP. But it turns out that, according to FOX Sports, he’s living in Hollywood with wayward receiver Josh Gordon, who has been suspended four times by the NFL and reportedly has failed yet another drug test. Gordon, who was Manziel’s teammate with the Cleveland Browns, missed the entire 2015 season after testing positive for alcohol, after he had served a suspension for drug abuse. FOX reported that Gordon, who missed his 2011 season at Baylor because of a drug violation, recently tested positive for marijuana.
Between the Lines: Manziel wants us to think he’s reformed. Living with Miller, a fellow Texas A&M Aggie, but one who scrupulously avoids trouble, would give that impression.
QB Rodgers, Gov. Kasich exchange zingers
When John Kasich, campaigning for the Wisconsin presidential primary, was asked who he would want as his vice president, he replied, smiling: “Aaron Rodgers, maybe, if he had a better year. . .” The Green Bay Packers quarterback, known for being a font of witticism, replied with a tweet: “Kasich maybe. Depending on how the rest of his year goes.”
Meyer decries rule on texting from coaches to recruits
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer on the new NCAA rule that permits unlimited text messaging between college football coaches and recruits: “The most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Do you really want text messages from 100 universities on your phone when you come out of school?”